So this is what we’re doing now.

Poker.

Right now, I’m sitting in my spot – this one remaining piece from a sectional where every other part of the couch has been destroyed to the point where we threw them out. So I sit in this one section, the corner piece, that I’ve crammed in between a hand-me-down couch and a futon that I have unfolded and spread a sleeping bag on it for the coolness.

And I’m sitting here, watching Marc teach the kids poker. Only the way he teaches them poker is by swearing a lot and sharing drinking and gambling storiesi from his past. Julie appears to be some sort of poker savant, because she’s an accomplished bluffer, and for the second time, the whole table erupted into swearing and yelling as the tiniest member of the game kicked everyone’s ass. Again.

There is an alarming amount of profanity.

We found out today that Sam is allergic to everything. Grasses, weeds, ragweed, oak trees, cats, dogs, dust mites. For the past 14 years, I’ve been nagging him to go outside and play, and he’s desperately allergic to all of it. We bought an air purifier, an allergenic mattress and pillow case cover. I’m more than halfway convinced that his abdominal issues are caused by constant and unending allergies, and am now not sure if we should see an allergist, go back to his gastroenterologist or just call his pediatrician and throw myself at her, begging for guidance.

I also have to take Jessie into the doctor’s office tomorrow, because I think she’s developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Four months of remote learning, summer work for four AP’s and an upcoming fellowship at the Federal Courthouse is not a good combination for my girl.

Julie is drifting through the longest summer vacation ever. I’m the most concerned about her for the upcoming year. Lilli is moving to Boston and Emerson will be mostly back to normal. Sarah’s college hasn’t made any final decisions yet, but she’s resigned herself to potentially having the fall semester at home. Jessie is going into her senior year, and honestly, she likes working from home just as well. Sam is going to continue with TECCA, and while there will definitely be some changes, we have to get his IEP up and running and he’s going to be in charge of his education. At least a little bit.

But Julie – oh, I worry about Julie. Will schools reopen? Will they be safe enough for her to go? Her fifth grade year is entirely up in the air. I could pull her out and homeschool her. So we wait, hoping against hope that the school department (which failed so badly at trying to come up with something for March-June) will magically come up with the perfect compromise between being in the classroom and being safe.

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